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PH problems

Posted by kenwagz Quartzsite/ La Paz c (gumby@snakebite.com) on
Fri, May 16, 14 at 17:00

I have a ph over 8 and am trying to get to 6 - 6.5 besides the long range fix, I am trying to bring it down pretty fast.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: PH problems

Here's a good article from Organic Gardening, but I don't think it's a 'fast' solution.

Here's another one: http://voices.yahoo.com/a-garden-chemist-lists-6-simple-ways-lower-soil-11170378.html?cat=32

HTH.

Here is a link that might be useful: OG-How to Lower Ph in Soil


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RE: PH problems

I have a ph over 8 and am trying to get to 6 - 6.5

Why? What do you want to grow that requires that low a pH?

You are fighting mother Nature, and except for some small confined planting areas, it's futile. Work on improving the amount of organic material, add soil sulfur and relax.


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RE: PH problems

gee, really... relax, I just wanted to know how to lower it fast. If you want to answer like that. shame, shame.
I think what I am growing is of no import here, just was asking for assistance with this.
It is very hard to garden when one is blind, so if you will not help, don't spam my box with rudeness


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RE: PH problems

I did help ... I told you to add organic matter and soil sulfur.

And I asked for more information - what are you trying to grow that has you thinking you need a pH that low? There may be a way to make it work if it's a picky plant, or a substitute with similar characteristics.

There is so much alkaline matter in the usual AZ desert soil that you can pour pool acid in the planting holes and hear it fizz as it dissolves the caliche. But the lower pH doesn't last very long because there is far more alkali than you can afford acid for.


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RE: PH problems

wow, you come here asking for help, people offer their suggestions, and you come back swinging. Unbelievable! I think you're the one being rude here.

If you wanted a quick way of doing it and a quick answer, a simple google search by yourself would've done the job.

Like Lazygarden have said, doing it the "quick" way won't net you long lasting results, plus will be dangerous to your plants. Adding organic materials is your best bet, or just totally replacing all of your soil with bagged soil and compost. Then there's our water here that's also a problem, Your soil will become alkaline again over time unless you water with heavily filtered RO water.

Plus we're asking what you're trying to grow because most plants, even though if the plant prefers more acidic conditions, can and will adapt to our high ph soils.


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RE: PH problems

Ah c'mon - s/he was asking "how to bring down the ph". Why not just answer the question and not grill the person about their gardening habits? The poster did not ask you "I'm trying to grow X and I've got high Ph, will that work?" He very simply wanted to know if there was a quick way to lower the ph. Just answer the question as it's presented. Or opt out. Why start a debate about it?? hmmm?


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RE: PH problems

Except that there is NO way to lower the pH in highly chalky soils, quick or otherwise. You could add straight sulfuric acid to bring the pH down to 0, and in a few weeks, the pH will be right back at 8.3 (just giving an extreme but totally realistic scenario).

Best bet is to use containers, or even raised beds physically isolated from the surrounding soil.

This post was edited by Slimy_Okra on Sat, May 17, 14 at 22:45


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RE: PH problems

  • Posted by glib 5.5 (My Page) on
    Sat, May 17, 14 at 22:54

as Slimy says. A rough test is to dry and pulverize a lump of soil, then cover with distilled vinegar. If it bubbles, you have no chance of changing it long term. This said, there is Dave "dig dirt" in Vegetable gardening who grows just about everything vegetable in 8.3 soil. I myself grow just about everything in 7.6 soil. both of us use compost, compost, compost.


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RE: PH problems

Sulfuric acid mixed in when you water brings it down fast, but I don't recommend it because it's very dangerous. One small splash of concentrated stuff in your eyes, and you lose your sight.


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RE: PH problems

Thank you so much for the help, really all I wanted to know was how to lower it quickly...

As for understanding what I ask, thank you Mary.

My soil is inside, not outside as you assumed.
And iAndy, what is with the sick comment, If you read my post you will read I am already blind, that is why I just don't "Google" it as the other person stated. I use Jaws software on my PC to get around and it is crazy on a page like Google.

I hope you can forgive me if I was rude for not understanding why people could not understand my writing, it gets frustrating t times.
I really could use a site like this, assuming I learn how to ask questions proper
and you all let me in to your "community"


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RE: PH problems

I apologize. I didn't read your second message very well and meant no offense. I use sulfuric acid in a diluted mixture to water a few plants that love acidic soil and it actually works where vinegar didn't work for me, but I don't want to encourage using a dangerous chemical like that when the consequences of a mistake with it are pretty bad. I think the safer route is to take the time and use elemental sulfur (sometimes called flowers of sulfur).


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RE: PH problems

My soil is inside, not outside as you assumed.

That was necessary information, and it changes the recommendation. Manipulating pH in a small amount of soil is easier to do.

The high soil pH is because you are watering from the tap with hard water that has lots of calcium and other minerals. It stays when the water evaporates.

First: Most of the build-up will be in the top inch or two of the pot, as a crusty layer. Remove this and replace it with fresh potting soil.

Next: Leaching the rest of the pot. You can wash out much of the calcium build-up by dunking the pot in a bucket of water and draining it. Lower it in and leave it until the bubbles stop coming up. Lift it out and let it drain. Repeat this a couple of times.

Preventing the build-up is fairly easy with regular leaching.

If you have a reverse osmosis unit, leach the plants with that instead of regular tap water. It's lower in calcium.


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